April 1 is the traditional opening day for trout fishing in Maine. It's no coincidence that it's also April Fools Day--no many non-fishermen understand why you'd go stand in a half-frozen body of water searching for fish that often seem like they are hibernating. With ice and snow, not to mention near freezing water temps, the excitement of opening day is enough. Opening day is about getting outside, remembering how to cast a fly rod, and basking the gloriousness of fishing season finally arriving. Much how I approach all of my fishing, catching fish is secondary.
With the late winter weather we've been having (it's snowing while I'm typing this!) we headed to a small pond that we know holds wild fish and hoped that the ice was out. As luck would have it, this pond happened to be the first one I've seen ice free in 2018.
Spotting the pond through the tangle of alders led us to the next surprise of the day. Evidently, a beaver had moved in since the last time any of us had been there and raised the pond about 2 feet and doubled the size of the pond. Next time we come, we'll definitely be bringing the float tubes.
A few midges skirted across the cold, dark, tannic water but wet flies and tiny streamers were the place to start. After a few casts with a royal coachman I had the first hit of the year--I promptly strip set (too used to striper fishing!) and yanked the fly right out from the little guy's mouth. Nonetheless, over the next hour or so all three of us landed a dozen or so healthy brookies (and didn't lose too many flies to the flooded alders). A morning with good friends, eager (but still not foolish) wild brook trout, a "new" old pond to explore, it was the perfect Opening Day. Let's hope it bodes well for the rest of the season!